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Basic Photography (Part 1)

ACQUIRING IMAGES USING DIGITAL STILL CAMERAS


Do you know where you can get the images that you can edit in Photoshop? They come
from different sources: from digital still cameras, scanned images, computer graphics artwork, or
stills from video.
As a rule of thumb, it is usually better to take good photographs during your actual photo
session rather than editing it later on with any photo-editing software to correct your mistakes.
Getting the most out of your camera
A camera is a light-proof device that has lens through which light enters from an image on
sensitive media, such as film (consist of light sensitive chemicals) or an electronic image sensor.
Kinds of camera
1. Analog cameras
2. Digital cameras

a. DSLR digital single-lens reflex


b. Compact digital (point and shoot)
c. Camera phones

Brief history of Camera


The word camera comes from the Latin word camera obscura, which literally means dark
chamber. The principle is that when light enters through a tiny hole on one side of a dark box or
room, an image of the outside appears on the opposite wall, upside down. The camera was initially
used by artists to make more accurate renderings of their subject. With the passing of time, efforts
were made to make that image permanent, initially on bitumen-coated pewter plates. These plates
were sensitive to light, but not as sensitive as todays film (or sensor). Camera obscura was a
forerunner of the modern camera.
During the 1800s, photography was costly and complicated. It was not until late 1888, when
George Eastman invented the Kodak, that cameras became easy-to-use and portable, much as we
know it today. Instead of a plate, the Kodak contains a roll of flexible film and when used it had to be
processed into negatives, and then developed into pictures.
Today, digital cameras are rapidly replacing film cameras. They use electronic sensors, such
as CCD (Charge-Coupled Device) or CMOS (Complimentary Metal-Oxide Semiconductor).
Basics of Digital Photography
Light needs to enter your camera for it to be able to produce an image. The ability of your
camera to properly capture an image largely depends on the amount of light that it sees or the
amount of time it will be allowed to see to produce the correct exposure. Of course, the sensitivity of
the sensor to that light should also be taken into consideration.
Three Elements that affect exposure:
1. Shutter speed the amount of time light is allowed to let in.
2. Aperture the measurement of the cameras opening.
3. ISO rating of how sensitive your camera sensor is to light.
Shutter Speed

The longer the shutter is open, the


more light gets through and this can give
your picture a different effect, such as
motion blur. More advanced cameras allow
you to regulate that speed. However, too
much light will make your picture look
washed out and too little light will make it
too dark. A shutter acts like a curtain that
blocks light going through your lens. When
you press the button, the shutter moves out
of the way to let light in then it moves back
to block the light again. A shutter can open
and close it curtains in as little as 1/16000
of a second.
Aperture
Lens aperture, also called the f-stop, determines how wide the opening of the lens is when
the picture is taken. In effect, it controls how much light can enter the camera-the larger the hole, the
more light that gets in. Therefore, if you are using a fast shutter speed, it should be compensated by
a larger aperture so more light can get through. Likewise, slow shutter speeds requires smaller
aperture to avoid overexposure to too much light.
Aperture is measured in f-stops. Examples of f-stops are f/2.8, f/4, f/5.6, and f/16. Moving
one f-stop to the next doubles the amount of light that gets in. F-stop numbers are the reverse of the
aperture size. Hence as the f-stop number increases, the aperture size decreases
Adjusting the aperture also affects the images DOF (depth of field). DOF is the degree or
level of focus in your image for different subjects at varying distances from your camera. Large DOF
means most of the subjects in your image will be in focus. On the contrary, small or shallow DOF
means that only a portion of your image will be sharp and the rest will be out of focus.
The size of aperture is usually controlled by a device called a diaphragm. When taking
pictures it may help to remember this:
Small f-stop = small DOF
Large f-stop = large DOF
ISO (International Organization for Standardization)
Another factor that affects exposure is the sensitivity of your sensor to light, rated as ISO.
The higher the number, the more sensitive the sensor will be. As a rule, lower ISO settings result in
sharper and more detailed images. Higher ISO speeds result in noise or a grainy looking image.
If you are to specify you ISO speed for your digital camera, use the lowest speed rating that
the light level permits. ISO 100 works well for normal shts taken in daylight. On the other hand, if you
want to freeze action, you would need to choose higher ISO to compensate faster shutter speed.
Moreover, for low-light conditions (where using a flash is not an option), a higher ISO might be
needed.

Diagram of Decreasing Aperture


As the aperture becomes
smaller, f-stop number becomes larger.
Digital Camera Modes
Presets/Scenes
1. Landscape/Scenery for taking
pictures of landscapes and other
sceneries.
2. Portrait for photographing people.
Use a large aperture to make the
subject clearer and the background
softer.
3. Night Landscape/Night Scenery
uses slow shutter speed for shooting
low light scenes; but may cause image
to blur. Use a tripod for image stabilization.
4. Night Portrait used to shoot portraits in low light with a flash.
5. Move/Motion Picture - for recording digital movies with your digital camera.
6. Snow/Beach compensates for bright backgrounds such as beach or snow to avoid
underexposure of subject.
7. ISO/High Sensitivity use this if your need to shoot in low light conditions without a flash.
Increased ISO causes noise to image.
8. Macro/Close-Up Use this to photograph small objects, such as flowers, drops, or insects. This
uses small f-stop (large aperture).
9. Sports/Action Allows you to shoot moving objects. It uses faster shutter speed to freeze
moving objects.
10. Sunset makes color during sunsets more vivid- brilliant oranges and red.
Automatic Settings
1. Automatic all settings are automatic. This is the most commonly used mode. Dont mind the
settings. Just point and shoot.
2. Program similar to Auto but offers partial control over some settings such as ISO, focus, color,
white balance, exposure value, etc.

Semi-Automatic Settings
1. Shutter Priority lets you set the shutter speed and the camera will adjust to the best aperture
possible. Tv stands for Time Value.
2. Aperture Priority lets you set the aperture value and your camera will then calculate the best
shutter speed and ISO.
3. Auto Depth-of-Field Priority (A-DEP)- evaluates all of the focus points and selects an aperture
that will give enough DOF.
4. Sensitivity Priority lets you choose the ISO and camera will calculate the shutter speed and
aperture accordingly.
Other Settings
1. Flash Off turns of the flash.
2. Burst/Rapid Fire used to photograph an action sequence; like someone running to the end of
the finish line.
3. Panoramic Stitch creates a panoramic image by stitching several images together into one
wide image. Be sure to allot 40% of the previous image so that the camera will know where
pictures can be stitched together. Also, use the same settings and focus for all the images. You will
get much better results if you use a tripod.

Parts of the Camera